Two worlds collide
High above the clouds on the fringes of the city, a new executive hillside home stands as a monument to JN Building's quality craftsmanship. For the company director's family, it's a dream.
Searching far and wide for the next home project to sink their teeth into, Johnny and Chloe Newble fell in love with semi-rural Kennedys Bush.
A world away from a city in the grips of a post-quake transformation, the cacophony created by commercial building and road works soon gives way to open roads snaking through peaceful pastures where horses graze and spring lambs frolic.
Offering all the benefits associated with the rural idyll without farmland ownership, and only a half-hour drive from the central city, Kennedys Bush encompasses the best of both worlds. And, with a number of scenic walks and bike tracks nearby, and Halswell Quarry on their doorstep, the location is heaven sent.
The couple’s plan was to create a spacious four-bedroom home, which would work equally well for a family or professional couple, in a striking monochromatic palette, softened with natural and raw materials like timber and unpolished concrete.
At the outset the young couple had no children – something that would change over the course of the project. Amidst the excitement of planning their new home, the pair welcomed, Emma, the new addition to their family. Now, with their 15-month-old ‘little hurricane’ tottering around, the future-proofing aspects integrated into the original brief are paying off.
The very nature of the hillside locale dictated the double storey configuration, and to capture the stunning views across the Canterbury Plains to the Southern Alps beyond, many of the rooms have been positioned to enjoy the ever-changing cityscape.
Upstairs is home to a nursery or home office, powder room and the master suite; as well as a generously proportioned open-plan kitchen (with hidden pantry), dining and living space, and formal sitting room – all of which open out onto the expansive L-shaped deck.
With a wealth of experience under his belt as director of JN Building, Johnny is accustomed to building high-end architectural hillside homes, and relished making his mark on the area by building his very own.
As project manager, builder and client, Johnny was involved every step of the way, and, to complete the project, he called on the loyal crew of subcontractors with whom he has developed solid working relationships over the years – all while negotiating the new demands that fatherhood brings.
Bespoke Architecture was brought on board to design and document all technical aspects and to oversee the construction drawings and computer modelling. The pair describe their experience working with the award-winning architectural practice as ‘awesome’, and say any changes they made to the initial concept drawings were easily accommodated as they navigated their way through the design process under Bespoke’s professional guidance.
Building from architectural plans day in, day out, Johnny says their plans are the best he’s ever seen; every last detail documented so fastidiously in the working drawings that a single phone call was all that was required to clarify one tiny point. On a build of this magnitude, with so many complex elements, Johnny was suitably impressed.
‘To the naked eye it may appear to be a very simple design, but building on a hill site demands meticulous planning to account for a myriad of hidden engineering details’, Johnny shares.
Besides the challenges that an unexpected, yet delightful pregnancy presented during the project, everything went according to plan. ‘Good planning results in great projects’, says Johnny; and with reliable systems in place, JN Building is well versed in building and managing projects of this scale.
As darkness descends, the city puts on a twinkling light display, and all through winter and into spring the snow-capped mountain ranges can be marvelled at from numerous spots around the home: Chloe’s favourite being in the master bedroom where she can drink in the panoramic vista while enjoying her morning cup of tea.
Words & styling: Majka Kaiser Photography: Mick Stephenson